Poems and Texts

“One Country” by Rickey Laurentiis

One Country

I want to be released from it.
I want its impulses stunned to lead.
This body. Its breath.
Let it. Let the whole pageant
end. If my body had a river in it
I would drain it. If by the river
was a city, let a storm shock and drown it.
If in the city was a boy made sick
from his body, the freak passions of it,
let him come out—his brown skin
lifting as a shell. Let it. Let all
his limbs pop and unhinge. First
his penis, its quick flight, as if a comet.
The eight fingers next, then thumbs,
then tongue, till every star is on the floor,
dismissed, each pointing in its own
direction, each another door
to the one country where his body is
loved and made for.

Rickey Laurentiis

Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, Fall 2015). His poems appear in Poetry, The New Republic, New York TimesKenyon Review, and Boston Review, among other journals.

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